Pam Cottrel: Resolve to recycle more in 2020

While 2019 was a crazy and often unhappy year for news, our newspaper had a positive story last week that gave me hope for 2020.

On December 26, Riley Newton reported that the North Recycling Station at 525 East Home Road was being temporarily closed for about a day because the bins were full.

That was more than a community service announcement.

Think about it. Enough people in that area of Springfield took the time and effort to recycle instead of just sitting the boxes on the curb and contributing to the landfill. I think that is great news.

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Those of you who have already dropped off Christmas recycling should take a bow. You rock.

Progress is being made in how we think about recycling and it has inspired me to step up my own recycling efforts in 2020. In fact it is my New Year’s Resolution.

Regardless of where we stand on the climate change or global warming issue, recycling is something most of us can agree upon.

No need to argue about this. Reducing the amount of debris we have picked up at the curb and carted off to the landfill is a huge step forward that we all can take together. Recycling and saving natural resources just makes sense.

Those of us who did Christmas shopping online have a bunch of cardboard boxes to recycle, I know I did. I felt kind of guilty about that pile of cardboard.

Luckily the Clark County Solid Waste Management District has recycling stations all over the county. I just had to make sure the cardboard was flattened before putting it in the bin.

I’m also very much into paper recycling because I love trees. Old magazines, newspapers, advertisement circulars, etc. don’t need to go into the trash bin. They can be recycled.

Many of our schools also have fundraising recycling bins in the parking lots. Read the list of accepted items printed on the side of the bins. The rest of your paper can go to the county recycling station. I also recycle magazines by sharing them with friends.

Unsolicited offers of credit cards, insurance, vacations, etc. that appear in our mailbox really annoy me. And if the business adds a shredder resistant cardboard layer, I get livid. One of my goals this year is to cut the number of offers sent to us.

I recently discovered that on the back of the envelope or in the fine print, there is often an address or phone number to request the offers to stop. I intend to spend a cold rainy afternoon just keying in those stop orders, sipping my favorite coffee, and smiling.

We can also “go paperless” in our normal billing for utilities, credit cards, and bank statements. Anyone who has ever cleaned out the attic of an older relative knows how much paper is wasted printing these bills out every month, year after year, decade upon decade. It is an appalling waste of trees and space in our homes. It can also be a fire hazard. Don’t let it accumulate.

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Many businesses will be pleased to help you go paperless because it cuts their costs also. If you cannot find directions to go paperless on their website, call the office and ask how to get it done.

The Clark County Waste Management Agency has a fantastic website to guide community members through the recycling, “going paperless,” and reducing waste process. They also have a list of county run recycling locations and businesses that also accept unusual items like electronics. Look up the details at

This truly is a fantastic website and a wealth of information.

Some people are better at this recycling thing than others. If your life is too busy right now or you don’t have room to organize it, try to pick just one thing you can recycle or do to reduce paper waste. Just one.

Reusable grocery shopping bags can be a simple and easy way to get started. Until I collect enough for my whole shopping trip, I’ll continue to fold and reuse the brown paper bags from the store. I get multiple uses from each bag. The less new bags I use the better. And those plastic shopping bags all get stuffed into the recycling bin at the grocery on my next trip.

Resolving to recycle more in 2020 can make our world a better place.

Now if we can just get those telemarketers to stop calling.

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